The most wonderful time of the year for HBCU students and alumni is here. That’s right, it’s officially homecoming season! Anyone who has experienced an HBCU homecoming knows that it is truly an event unlike any other. It’s a time when students and alumni come together to celebrate their love for their university through a week of exciting events.

HBCU homecoming is a special time-honored tradition that can only be compared to a Black family reunion but on a much wider scale. Everything about homecoming is a whole experience. The tailgating, the pep rally, the parade, the big game, the band, the parties, it can be a lot. There are so many moving parts that go into an HBCU homecoming, sometimes it can be hard to keep up. Whether you’re a homecoming veteran or a newcomer, there are a few survival tips that every HBCU homecoming-goer outta know. Here are five tips for surviving an HBCU homecoming.

2Don’t Forget Your Essentials

Homecoming can get pretty hectic and you never know where the day or night might take you with all the moves going on. Make it easier on yourself and keep your essentials on you at all times. I’m talking phone charger, an extra pair of shoes, and most importantly your ID.

There’s a good chance that you’re going to be out all day so the last thing you need is a dead phone. Whether it’s a portable charger or just a regular one, bring it! Also, bring a pair of flats or some other sensible shoes, yes we all want to look cute for homecoming but you’re going to be doing a lot of walking so it’s better to be comfortable. Get your cute Instagram-worthy pic with your heels then throw on those flats. Lastly, don’t forget your ID! You do not want to be the friend who ruins everyone’s night because you forgot your ID at the hotel and can’t get into the party.